I (Bob) had a great email exchange early this morning with one of you I've invited to the BDA workshops as a friend. Like the one below, my responses to your emails and questions are, to the best of my ability, products of prayer and meditation. I thought you might be interested in this response to my friend and our fellow, who shall be allowed to remain anonymous.
To the question: Have you ever considered adding a zoom feature here so we can get to know each other better?
Long answer to a short question begins here: Nope. We do what we do, and we leave additional connections to the participants — for now. Reaching out to the people you want to meet is part of the process of getting your own recovery needs met as we start the cycle.
I do stay on the call for 30-60 minutes after the workshop every week for the whole cycle, helping people make connections, making introductions, answering additional questions, and encouraging folks to share if they're too shy or otherwise unable to share during the workshops. Those of us who stick through the full cycle — less than 30% in cycle one — grow very close over time.
A friendly suggestion: Please experience what we've put together here without trying to improve on it. Bill and I have talked out every detail of the experience we're providing. There is a method to our madness.
Including: the connections you're seeking begin with the Fours. We're still adding people and there's going to be LOTS of dropouts. The workshop group will come into shape between the Fours and Fives, and intimacy and closeness will develop in the second half. That's in alignment with the Step process most of us experience personally.
A friendly request: Please frame your feedback as suggestions for consideration instead of questions. It would be rude of me not to answer a direct question. But the real answer to your questions is: Please be patient and respect the process. Now that we've started, we won't make any major changes during this cycle. Please relax and enjoy the ride and hold your suggestions for your survey and / or drop them here like a suggestion box.
One last note: These workshops are not meetings, and this workshop group (small g) is not the Group (big G). The workshop participants are here to be served. Bill and I are here to serve. Please let us show you what we've got in-store for you. And please focus on your needs and wants rather than on "fixing" the workshops.
You have a need for deeper connection with fellow BDA members and workshop participants. Keep coming back, and you will get that. Postscript: We are in service to all of you through the workshops and beyond, AND we also welcome all of you to be in service to one another, specifically: taking the Steps together; being committed study buddies and staying through the whole cycle; sponsoring and co-sponsoring; making and accepting outreach calls and bookending; requesting and serving on PRGs; and attending and actively participating in as many of the weekly workshops as you can. We especially encourage members with us for their second cycle to focus your recovery efforts this time around on "Working with Others" as suggested in the AA Big Book.